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Advanced Base Camp (ABC)

ARC, Version A ARC, Version B ARC Rigid Brakeman
ARC, Version A ARC, Version B ARC Rigid Brakeman

Overview


ARC (Advanced Rope Control), Version A
(#753, 2673)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Advanced Base Camp ARC (Advanced Rope Control), Version A from Yucca Dune in 2001. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun’s collection.

The Advanced Base Camp ARC, Version A is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 53 mm. long, 46 mm. wide, 101 mm. high, and weighs 60 g. The slots are 33 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 16 mm. below the ends of the slots. My Advanced Base Camp ARC, Version A has a moderately stiff, plastic covered, cable keeper.

One side of the ARC, Version A is etched with the ABC logo, "MADE IN EEC," and a rigging icon.

Comments

The Advanced Base Camp ARC is one of the following closely-related belay tubes, all called "ATCs" after the original Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller:

Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller, Version A Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Version A
I 3.7 mm.
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller, Version B Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Version B
I 4.7 mm.
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller Rigid Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Rigid
III 4.7 mm.
AustriAlpin, Version A AustriAlpin, Version A I 3.7 mm.
AustriAlpin, Version B AustriAlpin, Version B III 3.7 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version A Black Diamond Air
Traffic Controller,
Version A
I 3.7 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version B Black Diamond
Air Traffic Controller,
Version B
I 3.1 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version C Black Diamond
Air Traffic Controller,
Version C
IV 4.7 mm.
Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Brasovia Wedgemount Brasovia Wedgemount II 4.0 mm.
Camp, Version B Camp, Version B II 4.0 mm.
Camp Shell, Version A Camp Shell, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Camp Shell, Version B Camp Shell, Version B II 3.7 mm.
Climb Axe Max-Air Climb X Max-Air II 4.0 mm.
Climbing Technology Double Climbing Technology Double III 3.7 mm.
Cypher Arc, Version A Cypher Arc, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Cypher Arc, Version B Cypher Arc, Version B III 5.2 mm.
Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Fusion Fusion I 3.7 mm.
Good Makings Good Makings II 4.0 mm.
GrandWall Wedgemount GrandWall Wedgemount II 4.0 mm.
Singing Rock Singing Rock I 3.7 mm.
Stubai Stubai, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Stubai BC Stubai BC III 3.7 mm.
Zero-G G-Spot Zero-G G-Spot I 3.7 mm.
   

Each of these is 54±3 mm. long, 46±1 mm. wide, and weighs 59±9 g. Their slots are all 32±1 mm. long and 14±1 mm. wide. They all have plastic-covered cable keepers.

The Black Diamond ATC was the first of these to appear, by many years. The basic design evolved and similar devices appeared from others.

The ATC is a lightweight, popular belaying device among climbers. Rigging is simple: insert a bight of rope and clip it with a suitably anchored carabiner, making sure that the rope is not running over the keeper. Two-rope rigging is similar. On thinner ropes, adding another carabiner helps.

My biggest complaint is that none of these give me enough friction when rappelling with a heavy load on fast 9 mm. rope. I also prefer more friction while belaying, unless my partner is particularly lightweight. For these reasons, I prefer using a Trango Jaws or one of its equivalents.

Any of these will overheat badly on long rappels. Overheating is not an issue when belaying, but can be a concern when lowering someone more than a short distance.

There are four different shell styles in use::

  1. There is a small shelf at each end of the shell with a hole passing through it. The keeper cable has a crimp at the ends, which are visible from the top of the device.
  2. There is a small shelf at each end of the shell with a blind hole in the bottom. The keeper cable enters the holes, and is staked in place. The stake dimples are visible at the ends of the device.
  3. There is a bulge at each end of the shell with a blind hole in the bottom. The keeper cable enters the holes, and is staked in place. The stake dimples are visible at the ends of the device.
  4. Like style III, but the shell has a shallow valley above the bulge.

The differences between the styles are cosmetic rather than functional.

None of the keepers-to-shell are strong enough to support body weight, so don't be stupid enough to rely on a keeper to protect you.

There are also several different diameter keeper cables used on these. Cable keepers are a compromise between a cord that stows easily but tends to get tangled in use, and a rigid rod that stands up to the rope running over it (by accident, of course). I prefer a stiff keeper, but any of these are stiff enough to be used without significant problems.


ARC (Advanced Rope Control), Version B
(#847)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Advanced Base Camp ARC, Version B from Get Lost Adventures in 2007.

The Advanced Base Camp ARC, Version B is forged from aluminum alloy and painted. Mine is 53 mm. long, 46 mm. wide, 84 mm. high, and weighs 62 g. The slots are 33 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 15 mm. below the ends of the slots. My Advanced Base Camp ARC, Version B has a very stiff, plastic covered, cable keeper.

One side of the ARC, Version A is etched with "ABC," "MADE IN EEC," and "0205."

Comments

The ARC is a fairly standard ATC-type belay tube with a cable keeper. Version B has a very stiff (effectively rigid), plastic covered, cable keeper. This keeper is shorter than the one on Version A. My Version B is painted. I don't like painted devices because the paint comes off on the rope, making a mess.

The Advanced Base Camp ARC is one of the following closely-related belay tubes, all called "ATCs" after the original Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller:

Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller, Version A Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Version A
I 3.7 mm.
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller, Version B Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Version B
I 4.7 mm.
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller Rigid Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Rigid
III 4.7 mm.
AustriAlpin, Version A AustriAlpin, Version A I 3.7 mm.
AustriAlpin, Version B AustriAlpin, Version B III 3.7 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version A Black Diamond Air
Traffic Controller,
Version A
I 3.7 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version B Black Diamond
Air Traffic Controller,
Version B
I 3.1 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version C Black Diamond
Air Traffic Controller,
Version C
IV 4.7 mm.
Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Brasovia Wedgemount Brasovia Wedgemount II 4.0 mm.
Camp, Version B Camp, Version B II 4.0 mm.
Camp Shell, Version A Camp Shell, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Camp Shell, Version B Camp Shell, Version B II 3.7 mm.
Climb Axe Max-Air Climb X Max-Air II 4.0 mm.
Climbing Technology Double Climbing Technology Double III 3.7 mm.
Cypher Arc, Version A Cypher Arc, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Cypher Arc, Version B Cypher Arc, Version B III 5.2 mm.
Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Fusion Fusion I 3.7 mm.
Good Makings Good Makings II 4.0 mm.
GrandWall Wedgemount GrandWall Wedgemount II 4.0 mm.
Singing Rock Singing Rock I 3.7 mm.
Stubai Stubai, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Stubai BC Stubai BC III 3.7 mm.
Zero-G G-Spot Zero-G G-Spot I 3.7 mm.
   

Each of these is 54±3 mm. long, 46±1 mm. wide, and weighs 59±9 g. Their slots are all 32±1 mm. long and 14±1 mm. wide. They all have plastic-covered cable keepers.

The Black Diamond ATC was the first of these to appear, by many years. The basic design evolved and similar devices appeared from others.

The ATC is a lightweight, popular belaying device among climbers. Rigging is simple: insert a bight of rope and clip it with a suitably anchored carabiner, making sure that the rope is not running over the keeper. Two-rope rigging is similar. On thinner ropes, adding another carabiner helps.

My biggest complaint is that none of these give me enough friction when rappelling with a heavy load on fast 9 mm. rope. I also prefer more friction while belaying, unless my partner is particularly lightweight. For these reasons, I prefer using a Trango Jaws or one of its equivalents.

Any of these will overheat badly on long rappels. Overheating is not an issue when belaying, but can be a concern when lowering someone more than a short distance.

There are four different shell styles in use::

  1. There is a small shelf at each end of the shell with a hole passing through it. The keeper cable has a crimp at the ends, which are visible from the top of the device.
  2. There is a small shelf at each end of the shell with a blind hole in the bottom. The keeper cable enters the holes, and is staked in place. The stake dimples are visible at the ends of the device.
  3. There is a bulge at each end of the shell with a blind hole in the bottom. The keeper cable enters the holes, and is staked in place. The stake dimples are visible at the ends of the device.
  4. Like style III, but the shell has a shallow valley above the bulge.

The differences between the styles are cosmetic rather than functional.

None of the keepers-to-shell are strong enough to support body weight, so don't be stupid enough to rely on a keeper to protect you.

There are also several different diameter keeper cables used on these. Cable keepers are a compromise between a cord that stows easily but tends to get tangled in use, and a rigid rod that stands up to the rope running over it (by accident, of course). I prefer a stiff keeper, but any of these are stiff enough to be used without significant problems.


ARC (Advanced Rope Control) Rigid
(#1862)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Advanced Base Camp ARC (Advanced Rope Control) Rigid from SiteLead Inc. in 2015.

The Advanced Base Camp ARC Rigid is forged rom aluminum alloy and soft anodized. Mine is 56 mm. long, 47 mm. wide, 73 mm. high, and weighs 68 g. The slots are 31 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 15 mm. below the ends of the slots. My Advanced Base Camp ARC Rigid has a very stiff, plastic covered, cable keeper crimped to the body.

One side of the ARC, Version A is etched with "ABC," "MADE IN EEC," and "0312."

Comments

The ARC Rigid is a fairly standard ATC-type belay tube with a cable keeper. Like Version B, it has a very stiff (effectively rigid), plastic covered, cable keeper, but this one is anodized instead of painted. The body is slightly different, and the ends of the keeper are not visible.

The Advanced Base Camp ARC is one of the following closely-related belay tubes, all called "ATCs" after the original Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller:

Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller, Version A Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Version A
I 3.7 mm.
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller, Version B Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Version B
I 4.7 mm.
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller Rigid Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Rigid
III 4.7 mm.
AustriAlpin, Version A AustriAlpin, Version A I 3.7 mm.
AustriAlpin, Version B AustriAlpin, Version B III 3.7 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version A Black Diamond Air
Traffic Controller,
Version A
I 3.7 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version B Black Diamond
Air Traffic Controller,
Version B
I 3.1 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version C Black Diamond
Air Traffic Controller,
Version C
IV 4.7 mm.
Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Brasovia Wedgemount Brasovia Wedgemount II 4.0 mm.
Camp, Version B Camp, Version B II 4.0 mm.
Camp Shell, Version A Camp Shell, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Camp Shell, Version B Camp Shell, Version B II 3.7 mm.
Climb Axe Max-Air Climb X Max-Air II 4.0 mm.
Climbing Technology Double Climbing Technology Double III 3.7 mm.
Cypher Arc, Version A Cypher Arc, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Cypher Arc, Version B Cypher Arc, Version B III 5.2 mm.
Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Fusion Fusion I 3.7 mm.
Good Makings Good Makings II 4.0 mm.
GrandWall Wedgemount GrandWall Wedgemount II 4.0 mm.
Singing Rock Singing Rock I 3.7 mm.
Stubai Stubai, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Stubai BC Stubai BC III 3.7 mm.
Zero-G G-Spot Zero-G G-Spot I 3.7 mm.
   

Each of these is 54±3 mm. long, 46±1 mm. wide, and weighs 59±9 g. Their slots are all 32±1 mm. long and 14±1 mm. wide. They all have plastic-covered cable keepers.

The Black Diamond ATC was the first of these to appear, by many years. The basic design evolved and similar devices appeared from others.

The ATC is a lightweight, popular belaying device among climbers. Rigging is simple: insert a bight of rope and clip it with a suitably anchored carabiner, making sure that the rope is not running over the keeper. Two-rope rigging is similar. On thinner ropes, adding another carabiner helps.

My biggest complaint is that none of these give me enough friction when rappelling with a heavy load on fast 9 mm. rope. I also prefer more friction while belaying, unless my partner is particularly lightweight. For these reasons, I prefer using a Trango Jaws or one of its equivalents.

Any of these will overheat badly on long rappels. Overheating is not an issue when belaying, but can be a concern when lowering someone more than a short distance.

There are four different shell styles in use::

  1. There is a small shelf at each end of the shell with a hole passing through it. The keeper cable has a crimp at the ends, which are visible from the top of the device.
  2. There is a small shelf at each end of the shell with a blind hole in the bottom. The keeper cable enters the holes, and is staked in place. The stake dimples are visible at the ends of the device.
  3. There is a bulge at each end of the shell with a blind hole in the bottom. The keeper cable enters the holes, and is staked in place. The stake dimples are visible at the ends of the device.
  4. Like style III, but the shell has a shallow valley above the bulge.

The differences between the styles are cosmetic rather than functional.

None of the keepers-to-shell are strong enough to support body weight, so don't be stupid enough to rely on a keeper to protect you.

There are also several different diameter keeper cables used on these. Cable keepers are a compromise between a cord that stows easily but tends to get tangled in use, and a rigid rod that stands up to the rope running over it (by accident, of course). I prefer a stiff keeper, but any of these are stiff enough to be used without significant problems.


Brakeman
(#754)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Advanced Base Camp Brakeman from Yucca Dune in 2001.

The Advanced Base Camp Brakeman is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 57 mm. long, 48 mm. wide, 85 mm. high, and weighs 51 g. The slots are 32 mm. long and 15 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 13 mm. below the ends of the slots. The keeper is made from 5 mm. aluminum rod.

One side of the Advanced Base Camp Brakeman is etched with the ABC logo.

Comments

The Brakeman has a rigid rod keeper that stands up to the rope running over it (by accident, of course), but makes the device harder to pack. The keeper is pinned in place, and the ends are not visible as they are on the Smiley Atoga - not that it matters either way. The Brakeman is essentially identical to the Liberty Mountain belayer.